Friday, June 18, 2010

Who would you invite to dinner?

Cate Blanchett and I go way back. In fact, our lives bear so many parallels it's beyond the beyond to believe. First, she went to high school in Melbourne, as did I. It so happened we attended the same bottle green clad girls' school, albeit, at different campuses and in different years. We both did drama, although she was Drama Captain and I was just full of drama. Or full of it in general. I'm sure you'll also appreciate the confluence of my first and her middle name. She has a sister - I have a sister. We are both non-natural blondes of the thin and frustrating Australian variety and I'd go to her stylist if I could afford it. Cate too, like me, contemplated performing on 'Red Faces' for Hey Hey it's Saturday during uni. The only difference there was that she did appear in an act on 'Red Faces' and I didn't. Finally, I love her work. And I'm sure she worships mine. Who doesn't love a poet whose pen leaks with odes to failure and stuff ups and who lives in a desert mining town in the remote and forgotten (yet financially fricking freaky) north west of Australia?

Should I go on? Oh...I already have.

Suffice to say, were I to select a select selection of much admired thespians and humbly invite them to a party, Cate would be among them. Funny I should mention this idea. For, in fact, I did do this recently, in honour of Johnny Depp's birthday. Some came, most were happy to remain for the duration, all left in one piece and no one died. Or so I believe.

Who would you invite to a celebrity dinner?

Here's my take on a night with some favourite stars. So, pull out your maracas and your Happy Boy harmonicas (just as Andrew Collins and Rachel Fountain did as we performed this on air at the ABC) and sing it loud, ok!

Guess who's coming to dinner?

Didn’t we have a lovely time
the night they came to di-nner
sitting a-round my table grand
and all because they agreed, you know that
as we sat, I pondered that
I’m surprised they came at a-all -
little old me at a dinner par-tee as they
had their feed.

There he sat in his party hat,
a patch upon his e-eye.
Nothing was wrong, he was jollied along
because he liked the look, you know his
makeup too my ba-a-lance threw
but such is the way with thes-pians.
Tried not to blush or talk in a rush as we
had our feed.

Mu-ust now mention he spoke French and
none of us had a clue-hoo.
It was his night and to my delight
it didn’t matter whatever his patter so
we chatted on, and smiled along,
pretending we understood-ood, he
ate like a sparrow but sucked out the ma-rrow
of his feed.

Cate to my left was beautifully dressed
in a little bit of lame.
She, you see‘d gone to school with me
(or not exactly but down the road).
Beside me she sat, I told her that
we had a lot in co-mmon.
She winced a tad but oh I was glad as she
had her feed.

After the goose, before the moose,
I asked if Hugh might si-ing.
Maybe a dance, or shirtless prance
beside my ‘lectric keyboard and he
stuttered a bit, called me a twit ‘n
I smiled and sipped my cham-pers,
wishing I’d had maracas to share as he
had his feed.

GaGa was there, enjoying her fare,
dressed up as choc dipped duck-ling.
Into the mood, her look matched her food
and though she wasn’t invited I had
little choice but to hear her voice
when Hugh declined to si-ing.
Banging on with some mo-nster song when she’d
had her feed.

Clive to my right, was quite a delight,
all rugged British ac-cent.
So not behavin’, a little un-shaven,
winking at me constantly,
until he grabbed a hanky, dabbed his
eye a little swo-llen:
an allergy to my goosey ragout when he’d
had his feed.

But I didn’t mind, he’d found the time
to come and that was lo-vely.
If and when I’d poi-soned him,
I checked my medicine box in case and
offered him anti-hystamine
and found him rather grateful,
cursing away at my dinner par-tay as we
had our feed.

Then as we dined, was candles time
and out I turned the li-ights.
Brought out a cake, make no mistake,
a pirate ship with treasure on it.
Cla-apped and banged, to Jo-o-hnny sang and he
blew the candles fierce-ly,
blu-ushed and laughed, curling up his moustache and we
had our feed.

The night as you’d guess, a fine success,
a birthday party per-fect
and when I unchained them,
unre-strained them from their chairs,
‘twas all forgiven.
Possibly, maybe, looks a bit shady,
taking off their handcuffs,
but wow, and phew, they’d
loved my stew and farewelled
their feed.

Cate trotted out, a goddess with clout,
followed by the o-thers.
Mr O-owen’s eye was growing.
Off to the doc, but you know that my
Johnny, sweet chap, with his party hat,
sailed off holding his trea-sure:
lo-o-lly bag to add to his swag,
au revoir indeed.

Didn’t we have a lovely time when we

Elise Batchelor June 2010
Photo: Katharine Whitehead

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